Robotics Intensive: Rideable Hexapod
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 10:00 PM (EDT)
Somerville, United States
In this 4-month class, students will participate in a small (10-12 person) robotics team that will design, manufacture, and program a thousand pound, rideable hexapod robot (likely 8 to 12 feet in diameter), with the instructors of the class both teaching fundamentals of design and acting as project managers to ensure successful completion of the robot. This robot will be the third Artisan's Asylum 'house robot', after the inaugural Robotics Intensive class finishes its robotic vending machine and autonomous shop vacuum robot. The robot will primarily be a showpiece, designed to walk in parades and participate in large-scale public events.
Class time will be a combination of lectures and design exercises, with students deciding on particular design elements and working together to come up with solutions to standard mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, and computational engineering problems common to the robotics field. Towards the end of the series, students will be expected to attend build days that will take place outside of class time. All students will become generally familiar with the robot design, fabrication and programming process, and students will choose a specialty to focus on later in the class that they will use to help build the final robot.
TICKET NOTE: Ticket sales will start at noon on March 1st. Payment will accepted be either through PayPal or by check at the door of Artisan's Asylum. Payment plans will be accepted if the balance is scheduled to be paid in full before the first day of class. You may click 'Add to Waitlist' on this event page if you absolutely know you will buy a ticket, and you will then have 24 hours after ticket sales start to purchase your ticket.
The goal of this class will be to give students a thorough understanding of how robots are designed and built in a practical, hands-on sense, and specifically how one area of specialization (whether it's mechanical, electrical, or control design) is fully implemented on a large-scale mobile robot. Class topics will include:
- Static mechanical structure design
- Dynamic mechanical structure design
- Hydraulic actuation design
- High-power electrical design
- Control system design
- Large-scale precision machining, welding and assembly
- Heavy rigging
By the end of the class, students will have constructed a large, autonomous, rideable hexapod robot that will remain at Artisan's Asylum.
All students will, obviously, be trained and experienced robot riders by the end of class.
Students should expect to spend at least 4 to 8 hours a week outside of class working on the robot design in small teams, throughout all 4 months of the project.
Competency in at least one (and preferably more than one) of the following fields is required:
- Mechanical system design
- Mechanical fabrication (machining and welding)
- Electrical system design
- Electrical fabrication
- Control system design
Fabrication experience is not explicitly required, but if students expect to help fabricate the mechanical structure or electrical infrastructure of the robot later on in the class, they must have previous or concurrent instruction in welding, machining or electronics assembly, as appropriate to their chosen specialty.
Please use the 'Contact the Organizer' button if you are concerned about whether your competency in the fields listed will qualify you.
All materials will be provided by Artisan's Asylum. $550 of the $750 course fees count as materials fees, and are required to be paid by Artisan's Asylum Unlimited Class Pass holders.
Gui Cavalcanti received a General Engineering degree with a Robotics concentration from the Olin College of Engineering. He worked as a robotics engineer and systems integrator at Boston Dynamics, working on cutting edge mechanical design and systems integration for highly dynamic legged robots like BigDog, AlphaDog, and PETMAN. He was the Systems Integrator for the LS3 project, coordinating the joint engineering and development of multiple subcontractors and engineers. Over the course of his career he has also developed the mechanical systems for a robotic tuna, several robotic snakes, an ornithopter, and several other robotic animals. In his spare time he builds ridiculous things with ridiculous people, like a flotilla of SUV-sized rubber duck boats to take on the water on the 4th of July.
Dan Cody is a Programmer and Controls Engineer from the Olin College of Engineering. Controls code he wrote has been demonstrated on the Colbert Report, in a temporary exhibit at The Smithsonian, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and at numerous robotics conferences across the US, Europe, and Asia. He works at Barrett Technology, a 20-person company that specializes in making advanced robotic arms and hands that are designed to interact with humans. Dan is the designer and primary author of libbarrett, the open-source, real-time controls library that runs Barrett's products. Before Barrett, Dan worked for DEKA, the R&D company most famous for creating the Segway. He developed some of the novel user-input methods that are used to control DEKA's upper limb prosthetic, known as the Luke Arm. On the weekends, look for him dangling from the end of a rope half-way up the nearest cliff.
James Whong is a renaissance man in training with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Olin College. He presently works at Boston Dynamics and handles the electrical side of the PETMAN, RCTA (video not released) and ATLAS (video not released) projects. Before Boston Dynamics, he wrote software and designed circuits for DEKA Research & Development, Vision Robotics, and ENSCO Engineering's DARPA Grand Challenge vehicle.
All 16 group sessions will be on Tuesday nights, from 7:30PM to 10PM, from the 17th of April to the 31st of July. Further weekly meetings, to be scheduled based on student availability, will be required throughout the four months of the process.
When & Where
Artisan's Asylum, Inc.
Artisan's Asylum is a community fabrication and makerspace near Union Square, Somerville MA, that is dedicated to making creativity a way of life. It does this by maintaining a community workshop, training its members in the use of all of its professional-grade equipment, and hosting events promoting the learning and practicing of craft and creative expression.